Guest Post by Laurence Flynn From Host Nexus |
If you are trying to get word out for your site, a lot of times you are going to run into that age old issue of needing a big fat budget to be able to do it properly – or so you might think! The real trick to promoting your site on next to no budget is having that starving animal edge: innovation. When you do not have a budget to work with, innovation is your best friend and if you haven’t invested a lot of money into getting your site well known then think of it this way, you’ve got nothing to lose if your efforts fail except your own time. Even if you have invested a bit of cash to get started then you should go ahead and try some of these methods because you never know what might help you reduce that ad budget and be able to spend more on your site’s content or design which is a lot more fun to spend money on. Plus, your visitors will appreciate the budget going towards things they get to look at or read about.
First, get your mindset straight. No matter what you already know about how to promote a website from having read things online, get that out of your head. Take a pen and paper with you and start thinking like a normal, every day person who is just using the internet for fun or to find something. Really get out of your head for this little exercise because no matter how much you know about the typical ways to rank a website or all the services out there, start thinking about where actual human beings go when they want to get online and pass their free time surfing the web. What is your site about and where are the people who might be even passably interested in it hanging out? How old are they? Where do they live? Once you have some basic profiles of people that would visit your site, then you start thinking about where people go and how you can put a message that encourages them to visit your site right in front of their eyes. Sound good?
Then let’s start thinking about places your average internet viewer, the ones you need to know about your site specifically, might hang out. This will get you started in the right direction and then you take over after you’re done reading because you will get in the flow and know what to do:
YouTube – Now, perhaps you are not the type to put up crazy videos and if that is the case then you might feel that YouTube has nothing to offer you, but that is simply not the case once you start thinking in an innovative fashion. Remember, you can go on YouTube and leave comments and as long as you aren’t real obnoxious about it, you could mention your site. You might even try sending a message to the maker of the video and ask them if they mind you embedding one of their videos on your site. People who make videos are the standard extrovert type, for the most part, and they are likely to tell a few people that they got asked about being on another site. You obviously don’t want to pick a big star who is already spoiled with tons of attention, but if you pick someone you actually like then they may end up mentioning you in a future video or giving you some sort of shout out. This is always a good thing and besides, who doesn’t like making new friends?
Facebook – This one is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel if you do it right. You can make a fan page for your site, but if it is an unknown site then that is only going to go so far to help you. Instead, do the begging thing. That’s right, get on Facebook and try for the sympathy vote. Ask your friends to ask their friends to mention you. Remember, a lot of people hang out on Facebook – a lot! If you can just get a little fire started then you may well have some luck. If the begging doesn’t pan out, then you could try offering something for people to ‘Like’ which is a newer Facebook feature. If you want to go the extra mile and create something that can act as both entertainment for others and also a promotion for your site then you are bound to get some good results. There may be other ways to use the site, too, so stay open minded and pay attention to what people do when they are on Facebook.
Chat Roulette – This might seem like a strange choice, but here you have a site that is still a bit ‘underground’ so it would be a good idea to get in before it gets over regulated as social sites tend to do. You can simply go around chatting with folks and mention your site. Be friendly and practice good manners, don’t just plug your site, of course. The nice thing about Chat Roulette is that you can use a webcam if you have one. Now you might not want to be on camera and that’s fine – you could ask someone else to do it. Or you could get a face mask that’s entertaining and simply conceal your identity. You could even try putting up a sign with your site’s address, but do remember that if 3 people find you annoying within a few minutes then you get booted out of Chat Roulette for around an hour. This means you want to be careful and not be too obnoxious. You could try all sorts of different antics, though and if you’re really serious about being innovative then this is a terrific place to give your ideas a shot and see how they do. If you manage to grab some attention then you might take hold and spread across that network or wherever those people end up going next so it is definitely worth giving it a shot and seeing how well you can do with a little chat or webcam promotion that isn’t going to cost you a single dime.
These are just three quick ideas you can put to work to get the word spread about your site. They’re a starting point, not the ultimate solutions. Get your brain going in a different direction and you’ll be surprised by how innovative you truly are.
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